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30 Dec 12 Apple Pulls Legal Crosshairs off Galaxy S III Mini


Riddle us this: Why file a patent claim against a device that isn’t actually going to be sold in the jurisdiction – let alone, the country – of where you’re filing the claim?

Such has been the peculiarity presented to Apple, which announced on Friday that it’s no longer pursuing patent claims against Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Mini smartphone. Samsung has said that it is not, “making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States,” and has maintained this stance ever since Apple asked a California court to add the device to Apple’s latest patent dispute last month.

Apple won its first round of patent litigation against Samsung this past August, but that hardly put an end to the two companies’ legal squabbles – which includes Samsung’s desire to lessen the approximately $1 billion in damages that it faces juxtaposed against Apple’s interest in amending a second round of patent claims to add as many recently released and allegedly infringing Samsung devices as it can.

In other words, Apple’s second patent infringement lawsuit includes devices (and claims) that the company didn’t address in its first round of patent litigation. And Apple has been zealous about amending its filling to include more Samsung devices as warranted. Samsung, in turn, has been granted permission to add Apple’s iPhone 5 to its own patent infringement claims. Both of these trials won’t kick off until 2014.

Apple initially argued that its ability to purchase a Galaxy S3 Mini smartphone from Amazon, and have it billed and shipped to a U.S. address, was enough to qualify that the device was being sold in the U.S. And, as such, Apple argued that it should be allowed to include the smartphone as part of the list of current devices that Apple claims infringe its patents.

As part of Apple’s withdrawal, the company indicated that it would do so, “so long as the current withdrawal will not prejudice Apple’s ability later to accuse the Galaxy S III Mini if the factual circumstances change,” as reported by Reuters.

Samsung launched the four-inch Galaxy S III Mini in Europe in November, which numerous pundits saw as a direct assault against Apple’s similarly sized iPhone 5. At the time of Apple’s request to add the Galaxy S III Mini to its lawsuit, there was plenty of talk that Samsung might bring the smartphone to U.S. markets – which explains Apple’s interest in bringing the full weight of its legal efforts to bear.

 

For more tech tidbits from David Murphy, follow him on Facebook or Twitter (@thedavidmurphy).

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Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413664,00.asp

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